tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC August 10, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
"the ed show" tonight. that's "the ed show," i'm ed schultz. the "rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. i want to tell you that someone suggested that you and i should have a two-person beach volleyball team. i said i don't know if we would qualify for olympic competition, but i do know one thing. you would have to cover a lot of ground. >> you know, eld, i will do that if you and i can come to an agreement that we're both going to wear the same outfit while doing that. >> i'm easy. i'll wear whatever you want. >> excellent. thanks, ed. >> have a good weekend. >> you, too. thank you at home for staying with us for the next hour. happy friday. if you want to buy a political ad on tv, legally speaking, the station you want to buy the ad on, they have to give you their lowest advertising rate for airing your ad. advertising rates on good stations on big tv markets are still not cheap, but by law, you have to get the lowest rate for airing a political ad. that's because there's a public interest in making sure
political speech can compete with commercial speech. and we can all learn about the issues and the candidates before the election. because there's a public interest at stake, because political advertising is regulated in a different way than commercial advertising, information about political ad buys on tv is public information. you have a right to know. you have a right to know who is spending how much money to put what ads on your local tv station. until recently, though, if you wanted to get that information, you had to physically go down to the office of your local tv station and ask them to see the physical papers from something called the public file. you could then copy that information down and then presumably, you could go to all of the other tv stations in your tv market to get the same information. you could aggregate that information as home, and then try to understand what was going on in your media market in terms of political advertising for that day. >> technically, the information is publicly available and you
have a right to know it, but realistically, there was no real way to get your hands on it in a useful way. after some very effective prodding on this issue from the investigative news outlet pro propublica decided they were going to fix this. now, in the top 50 u.s. media markets, all of the affiliates of all of the major networks have to post online basic information about who is paying how much money to put political ads on those stations. so for example, now we know without having to drive to wsyx in columbus, ohio, and talk to the receptionist there and have a lot of dimes ready for the copy machine, we know over the course of one week, the koch brothers right wing group americans for prosperity, bought 40 separate ads to run on just that one station in just that one week. neat. for that one week on that one
station in that one media market in columbus, ohio, in that one swing state, the koch brothers group dropped $23,000 running those ads. that makes you appreciate where all of the millions go, right? in politics. however much it costs you to make a political ad, it's really the cost of paying to put it on tv and all of the media markets in all of the different states all across the country, that is where the bills s add up. if you want to know who leveraged the best week in presidential campaigning this week, who made the biggest political impact while spending the least amount of money to do it, it is definitely no contest. it's the pro obama super pac priorities usa. it's not just the romney campaign outraising the obama campaign. the super pac on the right is swamping the amount of super pac money on the left. when we looked at it on the show a month ago, republican versus
democratic super pac money looked sort of like this. that was the ratio in terms of the money on both sides. my hunch is that it's gotten worse since we looked at it last month. but priorities usa, the pro obama super pac are a big fish in the big money pond, but this week, they were nevertheless the small fish that ate everything else in the pond. their ad showing a laid off steel worker from a plant shut down by bain capital not only dominated the political discussion, but it earned a right-wing freak-out reaction. the romney campaign's seething political press with multiple stories about how upset they were about the ad and how horrible it was. the spokesperson outdoing his own typical hyperbole telling reporters specifically about the ad, i don't think a world champion limbo dancer could get any lower than the obama campaign right now. he accused the president and his
allies of diminishing the office of president and insulting the american people. the romney campaign even put out their own rebuttle advertising saying that super pac ad on the other side was a terrible, terrible, terrible ad. even the karl rove crossroads super pac put out their own ad responding to it, calling it terrible, terrible, terrible. here's the amazing thing about this full-scale, code red, all personnel freakout over the priorities usa ad dominating the week in politics. priorities usa did not air it anywhere. it is not running on television. so sure, it cost them something to make this ad. but this is how much they have spent to run it. zero. zero. and while that means the comicily underfunded pro obama super pac is getting really good bang for its buck, bang for no buck in this case, in context, the freakout on the right about
this ad is even weirder. because while the romney campaign and all of the pro-romney outside groups are lighting their hair on fire and trying to get as much attention as they can, criticizing this priorities usa ad, this third-party outside group about this steel worker and his wife dying of cancer after their lost their health insurance, while the right is losing their mind about the ad that is not running anywhere, so far, there has been not a peep from the right about an actual obama campaign ad that is not only out at the same time, but is actually running on television. in florida and in ohio and in virginia and in north carolina. all swing states where mitt romney is due to visit next week. the official obama campaign ad actually running on actual tv in those four swing states, effectively poisoning the ground for mitt romney before he gets there on his next big campaign trip. and that ad makes a rather outrageous assertion.
or at least it asks a rather outrageous question. >> was there ever any year when you paid lower than the 13.9%? >> i haven't calculated that. i'm happy to get back and look. >> did romney pay 10% in taxes? 5%? zero? we don't know. >> right. you don't know. but you are suggesting that he paid nothing in taxes anyway. in an official campaign ad that is running in four swing states on tv, you're paying a lot of money to get this message out there. no reaction from the romney campaign so far. >> just as senate majority leader harry reid offered no evidence other than heresy that romney paid zero percent in taxes for a decade, the obama implied the same thing by asking the question in this ad. and goes on to say this. >> did romney pay 10% in taxes, 5%, 0%? we don't know, but we do know that romney personally approved
over $70 million in fictional losses to the irs as part of its son of boss tax scandal. isn't it time for romney to come clean? >> son of boss? son of boss was in fact a tax avoidance scheme that the marriott corporation used to avoid tens of millions of dollars in taxes while mitt romney was on the board of the marriott corporation. and he was on the audit committee of the board of that corporation, which means he had plenty to do with that company's finances and how that company tried to avoid paying taxes. marriott participated in this scheme to avoid taxes. they and a lot of other companies got caught doing it. for that and for other tax avoidance schemes while mitt romney was on the board and responsible for exercising oversight over the company paying its taxes, the company ended up paying hundreds of millions of dollars in fines to the government for what it got caught doing.
all of that is in the new ad from the obama campaign that's running on television in the swing states. that apparently these romney campaign does not want to talk about. they're trying to raise a stink and attract attention to this other thing they found on the internet. it should be noted that what the obama campaign is alleging in the new ad, by putting the son of boss thing in the ad, it's not about mr. romney personally. it's not about mr. romney enriching himself, at least. not about him personally avoiding paying his personal taxes. it's whether or not his discharged his responsibilities as a member of a corporate board when that corporation was avoiding taxes. by raising that issue in this ad, the obama campaign is adding to the evidence that mitt romney has spent his whole life dodging taxes. in his business life at bain, and his business life at other companies he was involved ip, and yes, in his personal life. that's why they're doing this. they're trying to create a political impression that mitt romney's life has been one
scheme after another to dodge taxes. that is the impact of the marriott corporation son of boss thing. that is in the new obama campaign ad that the romney campaign is studiously avoiding and trying to distract from by talking about a webb ad from a super pac instead. that same issue, that idea of mitt romney as a chronic tax avoider is also the importance of the front page story about mr. romney's finances that runs in the "new york times" today. this is information, the story is based on information not from his tax returns which we have not seen, but instead from his investment diesclosure that he had to make as a candidate. among all of the other sources of income that mr. romney has declared, among all of those other things he's done to make money, there's this house that you see right there. a house in missouri city, texas, and the couple who lives in this house on gentle bend drive in missouri city, every month, they write mitt romney personally a
check for $600. they don't have their mortgage on the house through a bank. their mortgage is with mitt romney. personally. he's their mortgage provider. he's like fannie mitt. as recently as two months ago, they refinanced with him. they didn't refinance with a bank. they refinanced with mitt romney personally while he was running for president. they send him their personal checks writtening to him as a person. why is mitt romney this one couple's mortgage lender? apparently, it dates back to an investment scheme he got involved with buying rental homes in texas in the 1980s. why would a high flying boston future equity finance iier rent homes? it was a tax avoidance scheme? he jumped into a deal geared toward affluent free enterprise
capitalists for a quality investment with tax shelter benefits. the guy who set up the deal for him describes it as a marvelous scheme, a scheme allowing investors to write off depreciation on their taxes without risking theirobe money. a weird little detail in his finances. a kubel he does not know in texas sents their monthly mortgage check to him because of a tax avoidance scheme he got involved in in the 1980s. the son of boss thing for the corporation that mitt romney was on the board of, turns up in the new obama campaign ad, that, too, was a tax avoidance scheme. a tax avoidance scheme is also at the heart of the controversy over mitt romney's residency when he ran for governor in massachusetts, which we reported on a lot. he wanted to be seen as a massachusetts resident even though his taxes showed him declaring his primary residence in deer valley, utah, in what he described in the news as a tax
avoidance scheme. for a guy running on his financial wizardry, his financial background, for a guy who is running on that, we know next to nothing about mr mr. romney's actual financial brackground. what we do know about his background is a string of tax avoidance schemes. even the olympics thing, when the olympics winding down over the next few days, we're left to ponder the face of poor rafalca. rafalca? yes, rafalca, the romneys' dressage horse. it did not medal, but rafalca's fame will be enshrined as an attempted $77,000 tax write off on mitt romney's tax returns. even his family's multimillion horse ballet hobby, turns up as a tax avoidance scheme. this stuff adds up. financially, i'm sure it adds up. if you talk to really, really rich people about other really, really rich people, they say
read the tax codes for fun. that's how you get really rich. financially, pursuing this as a lifetime habit adds up, but clickl lpolitically, it's addin up, too. harry reid has offered no evidence for his heresy statement that mr. romney has paid no taxes for ten years. while that unsupported allegation lingered in the political atmosphere, it's also true that all of the real evidence we do have about mr. romney's financial history is evidence of him using exotic, aggressive, and in the case of this son of boss thing, occasionally illegal tactics to avoid taxes. tax avoidance. that's a lifelong hobby. since harry reid first made his unsupported heresy allegation about mr. romney not paying taxes for a decade, no evidence has emerged to disprove that allegation. and the only evidence that has emerged frankly points the other way. and so the issue is not going
away. and harry reid is making sure it's not going away. one of his staffers last night continuing to stoke the fire by asserting and partially retracting more tantalizing details about the supposed source of the heresy. "new york times" tweeted that the fact that all of the questions and the few pieces of evidence we got about his taxes and finances are in a contitatively measurable way leading people in general to ask more questions about mitt romney's questions, to wonder about it, to try to figure out more. the red line you see, the red line represented google surfaces over the past few months over romney and bain capital. you can see the red line drops, that means those have tailed off in recent weeks. look what has taken its place. the blue line, surfaces about romney and taxes. just skyrocketed since the end of july. that sort of interest is translating into political pressure. even on the republican side. in an interview with greg sergeant at the washington post
today, jon huntsman's dad, jon huntsman, sr., who is one of romney's biggest longtime supporters, blotted down rumors he was harry reid's source on the mitt romney didn't pay taxes for ten years allegation. but mr. huntsman nevertheless told greg this, quote, i feel very badly that mitt won't release his taxes and won't be fair with the american people. mr. romney ought to be square with the american people and release his taxes like any other candidate. i have supported mitt all along, i wish him well, but i do think he should release his income taxes. one of mr. romney's biggest supporters. the romney campaign may not want to talk about it. they may want to talk about anything other than this, but the story keeps getting bigger, not smaller. chris hayes joins us in just a moment.
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♪ every mom needs a little helper. that's why i got a subaru. announcer: love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. was there ever any year when you paid lower than the 13.9%? >> i haven't calculated that. i'm happy to go back and look. >> did romney pay 10% in taxes, 5%, 0%? we don't know. >> right, we don't know. nevertheless, that's the ad from the obama campaign that is running in four swing states right now. it suggests that mr. romney may have paid zero% in taxes at some unspecified point. you would expect the romney campaign to set its hair on fire over an ad like that, but the romney campaign kieriously is not making much of a peep at all about the ad, even as it runs on
tv in four important swing states and as they raise holy heck complaining about other unrelated anti-romney ads. joining us now, the host of up with chris hayes and author of "twilight of the elite. "mr. hayes, good to see you. our friend chuck todd, our colleague here, had an interview with mr. romney in which he said he wanted his business record to be off limits in the campaign. how did this happen? wasn't that going to be businessman verses obama? >> the entire argument. primary debate after primary debate, in his comparative advantage over other republicans in the field, when he was trying to establish himself against lifelong politicians such as rick perry, newt gingrich, et cetera, that was the comparative advantage there, and then in the general election, this was this is someone -- the argument in
one sentence was president obama has never been in the private sector. he doesn't know how to create jobs. i know how to create jobs. it's preposterous to say the entire justification for the entirety of why you're running for the president of the united states that you have experience in the private sector, is out of bounds. >> do you think it's fair to relate his personal financial history in terms of tax avoidance and other issues that have been raised by the obama campaign very directly now, to his experience as a business leader whose business experience can lead the country into a brighter economic future? are they closely related enough that the obuma campaign can rebut this assertion that his business career, his tax returns are irrelevant? >> here is what i think is fair. i think the fact that what mitt romney is doing, this is the key point here, mitt romney's experience with the american taxes isn't just about mitt romney. it's actually a deep and
profound point. not just about tax policy in this country, not just about whether the rich pay taxes and how they do or don't pay taxes, but about the entire rigged game that is the american social system right now. in which people with a lot of money are able to subvertthe rules to benefit themselves in ways that people making $40,000 and $60,000, $80,000, $100,000 or $10,000 a year aren't able to. that's a fundamental aspect of the american experience now, and mitt romney has thrown in his luck with the policies, with how he's defended his activities and his actual behavior such as we have seen he has revealed. that's a deep, profound, substantive point about whether the wealthy are going to be taxed, whether they're going to be taxed, whether we have the ability to extract revenue from people at the top. it's fair. >> and he's put himself in an idealogical spot that would indicate a real difference between republicans that have
gone before him, specifically his father. we talked about this before on the show, and i feel like it hasn't really spread as a broader idea in terms of the discussion about his taxes, but i think it's really important. mitt romney's dad not only put out a lot of taxes and famously said you can't just put out one year. it might be done for show. his son put out one year, it's a direct parallel. the other parallel is the senior romney's taxes were released, the reporter who wrote a book abouthat experience noted there were a lot of places where he could have taken tax breaks that he did not take. and he didn't do it because he didn't like the way it would look when he would be running for president. mr. romney the younger now says if i paid a dollar more in taxes than i legally had to, that should disqualify me from being president. >> right. that is profound -- that says two things. there's two asspects that are fascinating. one are the choices he made not
to take exemptions he could, and two, how much he paid in taxes. our top rate was 19%. he paid 35%, 36%. we're talking 14% for romney. those rules about taxation changed the norm of how elites comport themselves. there's a connection between those two things. from that sense, mitt romney is remarkably representative not just of who mitt romney is as a person but as an entire class, frankly, that has loosed itself from the bounds of a norm of good conduct, of probe ate, of following the law in its intent and spirit. >> and their own behavior is rationally related to the health of a country. >> absolutely. >> i would like this discussion, those things you said in the discussion, to be the rebuttal to anybody who says the tax returns discussion is not substantive and it's a discussion. it's central to the economic issues in the campaign. >> absolutely. it's a big question. >> chris hayes back tomorrow? >> back tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. >> chris's new book is called
kwet twilight of the elite" and it's great. get some sleep. >> thank thanks. >> if you're a member of a hall of fame, any hall of fame, that should probably get you some special treatment, right? or at the very least, it should give you fair treatment. unless you have the temerity to try to vote this year. that story coming up. [ kimi ] atti and i had always called oregon home. until i got a job in the big apple. becoming a fulltime indoor cat wasn't easy for atti. but he had purina cat chow indoor. he absolutely loved it.
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that's true by checking to see if america's major news gathering organizations have assigned someone to do surveillance of you. there's someone being paid by all the networks to politely watch with paul ryan and rob port minute and tim pawlenty right now to watch what they're doing every single minute of the day and night, just in case. i'm not kidding. at least in the dais case of governor pawlenty, you, too, can join in the surveillance very easily. this sunday, the governor on the vp short list again, he will be on meet the press on nbc this sunday morning at 9:00 eastern. in between various olympics broadcasts, and i'll be among those monitoring his activity because i'm excited to be appearing on "meet the press" also. sunday morning, 9:00 eastern, tim pawlenty followed by that person with the bad hair. we'll be right back.
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voter hall of fame. every year into this hall of fame they induct new super voters. pennsylvanians who have voted in 50 consecutive elections. folks, the voter hall of fame inductees hold a special place in pennsylvania history. for 50 years, they have placed their responsibilities as citizens of the commonwealth first. we're grateful to democracy and we proudly induct them into the pennsylvania voter hall of fame. in pennsylvania, they like to say they take voting seriously. they take their civic responsibility seriously. here is this year's voter hall of fame ceremony where 100 new super voters were inducted into the hall of fame. here's the ceremony from wayne county, 19 new hall of famers inducted. here's the elek county induction from last year. 200 new hall of fame super voters inducted in elek county last year. awesome. the pennsylvania voter hall of fame has been around since 1982.
right now, there are almost 6,000 registered voters who are hall of fame super voters, whose vote in this election would represent more than their 50th consecutive ballot count. but if the pennsylvania hall of fame super voters thought they were going to be able to waltz right in like they have for the last 50 years, this year, they would be wrong. that's because back in march, pennsylvania's republican-led legislature passed and its republican governor tom corbett signed, a strict new voter id law that requires voters to present up to date government issued photo id they never had to show to vote before before they're allowed to vote this year. it's documentation that a substantial number of pennsylvania voters do not have. last month, the state released data showing that more than three quarters of a million of voter do not have photo id from the state. they are legal voters, they just don't have this thing that they say you now have to show that you never had to show before if you want to vote.
and it turns out there are a lot of hall of fame pennsylvania super voters who are among them. according to an analysis by the pennsylvania aslcio, nearly a quarter of the pennsylvania super voters in the hall of fame who have cast ballots in the last 50 elections in a row, they do not have valid state issued id and could therefore be prevented from voting in november. one of the super voters, a 91-year-old whose expired driver's license is not considered valid because it's expired told talking points, i wouldn't be able to vote if i don't get some form of id. i wondered why it was, what was the problem they passed something like that. it's awful funny. a 90-year-old who gave up her driver's license three months ago said, quote, i don't know why, for what reason it was passed. i couldn't tell you. zachary roth, a senior writer and editor at msnbc.com went to pennsylvania and talked to 101-year-old pennsylvanian who doesn't have the proper id to
vote in november. >> how would you feel if you weren't able to vote? >> i would feel very badly because i know we have come a long way where we could not vote. i remember when we black folks did not vote. >> a state that takes the civic duty of voting so seriously it has a voting hall of fame. this year, the state of pennsylvania is going to deliberately dissenfranchise may of its dedicated voter wheres yorb voted in 50 elections straight? congratulations. here's a spot in our hall of fame forever. now no more voting for you. that's pennsylvania. and the great state of iowa, while republicans tried for it, there is no new iowa voter id law for this year's election. that doesn't mean that nobody gets disenfranchised. the republican secretary of state in iowa has suddenly moved to start a purge of the iowa voter roll. the secretary of state used a emergency procedure that allowed
him to issue the new purge rule without giving notice to or taking input from the public. he told them the usual notive and input are contrary to the public interest because they had to be in effect before the november 6 presidential election. so he's trying really quick like with no public oversight to purge the voter roll before the election. what could possibly go wrong? that's iowa. as long as we're talking shady new republican election rules in the swing states, we need to make a quick stop in ohio. for the past couple nights, we have been talking about a new partisan disaster in voting rights in ohio. now, the big news, don't pay attention controversy right now is republicans moving to cut off the three days of early voting. it's the change that was credited with the hours long voting line in '04 into something that resembled a
functioning election day un200u, but that resulted in barack obama winning the state. this year, republicans in ohio would like to have fewer early voting days. john houston has been trying to defend that move, trying to explain why the point is not to get fewer people to the polls, not to have longer lines on election day, why it would be so important to cut off early voting three days early. >> i don't think the bar is too high there for anybody who really cares about the future of the country and wants to have their voice heard by voting. we try to make it easy, but we can't -- i say we're not 7-eleven. we can't stay open 24/7 and let anybody vote by any rule they want to. we have standards. >> that's ohio's republican secretary of state's explanation for cutting off the last three days of early voting in the state, including the sunday before election day which is when african-american churches mobilize their congregations to early vote.
you can't go around voting whenever you want. we have standards. the fact that those standards are likely to result in longer lines in the big cities where democrats are favored, i'm guessing the secretary of state would say that's just a coincidence, but i would love a chance to ask him. even the questions remain about the cut-off of the last three days of early voting in ohio, the secretary of state has not answered questions about the other election scandal in ohio for this year, the one i find hard to believe is not front page news all over the country. the bigger election scandal in ohio right now is on a county by county basis, election polls are deciding whether to allow early voting on night and weekends. each country's election board is split between republicans and democrats. equal numbers. in counties that tend to vote for the republican candidate, like warren and butler, where john mccain won in '08, republicans and democrats are voting together to allow early voting on nights and weekends. that means more voting in republican counties.
but in the counties that tend to go democratic like chi akoega and summit, the republicans on those county election boards are voting against early voting on nights and weekends. and guess who gets the break? for the tie vote in those counties, guess who gets to break the ties? this guy, republican secretary of state john housted who is voting, intervening to make sure there are fewer voter hours in democratic counties while there are more in the republican counties. former ohio governor ted strickland who is a co-chair of obama's re-election joins us next. throughout our entire live. ♪ one a day men's 50+ is a complete multi-vitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age.
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this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs. a place where innovation meets determination... and businesses lead the world. the new new york works for business. find out how it can work for yours at thenewny.com. your right to volt and who is stopping you from having that right to exercise anymore coming up next.
we're not 7-eleven, we can't stay open 24/7 and let anyone vote. >> the debate about voting in ohio continues mostly to be about the republicans' new effort to cut off the last three days of early voting. but what no one in power in ohio has yet answered for is the republican effort in ohio to allow people to vote early on nights and weekends. in republican leaning counties, but to not make the night and
weekend early voting hours available for voters in democratic counties. joining us now is former ohio governor ted strickland who is a co-chair of obama's re-election effort. thank you for being here. i appreciate your time. >> good to be with you, rachel. i'm happy to talk about this issue. it's very important to my state. >> in ohio, obviously, when ohioans go out to vote, it matters to the whole country because ohio is such a crucial swing state in every modern presidential election. this one is no exception. on this issue about different early voting hours and republican leaning counties and democratic leaning counties, is this a story of national significance? and is this a done deal or is this something that might yet be fixed and normalized across the state? >> well, it could be fixed. i don't know that it will be. but the fact is, rachel, i think it's become very clear as we have watched what has happened here in ohio and pennsylvania and florida and iowa and elsewhere, that the national
leadership of the republican party is afraid of the american voter. and they are doing whatever they can do to limit voting among those who are the most vulnerable. i'm not talking about our minority population, our older citizens, our student population. and you know, when the secretary of state says we have standards, those standards ought to be consistent standards. but you have just mentioned something that is of great importance. some counties are going to allow expanded voting hours, and other counties will not be able to have that privilege. and as it turns out, as it turns out, in the democratic-leaning counties, those hours will be restricted. and in the republican-leaning counties, those hours will be expanded. and that is unfair. and it's something that could, it could possibly affect the outcome of the election in ohio. >> in terms of the last three
days of early voting being cut off, we know that has been the subject of a lawsuit by the obama campaign in ohio and there's been some -- a little bit of political wrangling over that, but a lawsuit has been filed. it's not over the issue of the disparate voting hours between different voting counties in ohio. do you anticipate that the obama campaign may take legal action or attempt to intervene in some other way about the different hours county by county? >> well, rachel, this issue has just recently surfaced. the cincinnati enquirer has done some stories about it, and ohioans are only now becoming aware that this disparity is going to exist. and we all know about obviously the prohibition on voting in the last weekend days before the election. and four years ago, rachel, about 95,000 people voted during those three days.
and so they have limited that, and the obama administration with the ohio democratic party has brought suit to try to get that changed. but this issue about having inconsistent voting hours and opportunities from one county to another has only recently, i think, entered the public awareness. we'll have to see how this plays out as more and more people become aware of this really terrible situation. >> with the restrictions on early voting, with the disparate hours between counties in the state, are you confident that the obama campaign, a democratic party, that the other pro-obama forces s in the state are goino be able to counter, essentially, those measures from the republicans with a strong enough get out the vote effort to carry this thing? >> well, i can tell you the obama campaign is alive and well in ohio. it's a robust campaign. there are more than 70 field offices open across our state,
and work is being done from daylight to way past dark. and the fact is that it's showing in the polls. the president is looking very strong in ohio. in all of the polls, and that lead seems to be increasing. but it will be a close race in ohio. you pointed out accurately, rachel, that ohio is always at the tip of the spear when it comes to deciding who the president is going to be. and i think that is also going to be the case this year. i think that this disparity in counties that are republican counties versus counties that are democratic counties is so troubling to us. >> ted streckland, democrat, co-chairman of the president's re-election effort. thanks for being here. >> all right. we have something important to explain and something important and undercover in today's news. big fingts tooish tonight on th. stay with us. are you okay, babe?
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he can. for those of us who are civilians, it can sometimes be hard it 0 keep straight what a career path is like, what the different ranks mean, for example, in the american military. yeah, we get to know what the bakes. we know what a general is, right. >> and for a general the more stars the better. even we civilians just know some of these things cole loc equally. we know that saving private ryan" was about saving a relatively low ranking soldier and maybe know that the two bars on tax hanks helmet mean he's not the private in question. he in fact is a captain. some of the stuff we just absorb even if we're civilians, we just absorb it through the news and movies and culture. it is worth appreciating though one important distinction about personnel in the u.s. army that we civilians i think don't always get.
it mook metook me awhile to lea. there are two separate career paths in the u.s. army. this shows the officer career path for commissioned officers through officer candidate school or rotc or the service academy at west point for the army. you can start on the officer career path that starts at 2nd lieutenant, then 1st lieutenant, then captain, then major, then lieutenant colonel and a full bird colonel and then you're a general, one star and two star and so on. there is also a separate career pathing with different ranks for what they call enlisted personnel. this means you don't start at officer candidate school or rotc or west point. you enlist as a private. and then from there, the ranks rise through private first class and then specialist and then sergeant and staff sergeant, then sergeant first class, master sergeant, first sergeant, sergeant major and then command sergeant major. technically, there is one rank
above command sergeant major but it's sergeant major of the army. there's only one person who holds that rank in the entire u.s. army at any one time. only one person. so really command sergeant major is it. the way the army describes it, "enlisted soldiers who attain the distinction of being slengted by the department of the army for participation in the command sergeants major program are the epitome of success in their chosen field in this profession of arms. there is no higher grade of rank and there is no greater honor perhaps slightly wiser and more experienced than the first sergeant, the csm is, command sergeant major is expected to be calm, settled and unquivly accurate but with an energy and enthusiasm that never wanes even in the worst of times. so we are all familiar even us civilians are all familiar with the packet that being a general is a really big deal in the army, right? being a command sergeant major is way less familiar to us just in terms of its terminology but in important ways it is just as
big a deal. it is the top of the heap. it is the apex of the career army personnel status to which very few people ever hope to ascend on the enlisted side of the arm ranks. army ranks. this is a pictures of the leadership of the fourth combat brigade of the army's 4th infantritory division based in fort carson, colorado. it's between 3500 and 3800 soldiers not counting a lot of support personnel. on the left, you see here the brigade's commander, colonel james mingus on the right is the command sergeant major. in this case, it is kevin griffin. the leaders of the entire 4th brigade combat team were targets of a suicide attack in kunar province in afghanistan. two suicide bombers reportedly detonated explosive vests as these two soldiers walked to a meeting with afghan officials. the brigade commander colonel
mingus was not injured in the attack but command sergeant major griffin was killed. that makes him the most senior enlisted soldier from fort carson to die in the wars in iraq or afghanistan. the defense department is not saying this officially but based on our review of high profile casualties in both the wars in iraq and afghanistan, we think that command sergeant griffin may be among the most senior u.s. service members killed in either war, period. major thomas kennedy, an air force major walter gray were also killed in that same attack along with a state department official. of that attack as i said happened wednesday in evident ooern afghanistan. and then the next day on thursday, three marines were killed in southern afghanistan. and the latest so-called green on blue attack which is what the military calls attacks by people we thought were supposed to be allies. the three marines were reportedly shot and killed after they were invited to a meeting
to discuss security. another u.s. service member was injured in that same incident. the gunman in that case escape pded. that all happened after another green on blue attack earlier this week, this one in eastern afghanistan in which a u.s. soldier was killed and two others were wounded again by a gunman described as wearing afghan army uniforms. nato says there have been 24 green on blue attacks in afghanistan since january which have killed 28 people. today a nato spokesman tried to put that number into perspective. >> however, we must not forget that for the time being, as we speak actually, weise have 500,000 soldiers and policemen working side by side are building trust, building confidence. actually many of them building friendship, fighting together, fighting the insurgency and bringing peace to this country. >> we are approaching the 11th anniversary of the war in afghanistan. starting this fall, we will be starting year 12.